Saturday, 16 August 2014


I was driving out to the club to test the spliced Yew 70# longbow for distance. It's about a 20 minute journey each way and a bit of a pain when I only really wanted to lob a few arrows.
As I drove out of town on the dual carriageway, I noticed the big long meadow between the road and the river (part of the flood plain) had been mowed. At the far end there is a single track road which goes down to a ford. I turned in there and parked, the field is perfect for flight shooting when mowed being bordered by river and dual carriageway, it's over quarter of a mile long and a couple of hundred yards wide. It's not full of dog walkers like a lot of fields as there is no right of way through it. There is also only one access point...perfect. I strung the bow stood just inside the field loosed off three arrows and packed away the bow. I then paced out across the field to collect the arrows at about 200 -210 yards, pretty much as expected, but nice to use the bow for a full shot. Most of the year that field is flooded or the grass is too long or it has sheep in it. I'll have to remember it for a brief window of opportunity next year.
Getting back to the car, I noticed a few apple trees in the hedgerow, they were a bit scruffy where the farmer had gone down the hedgerow with a flail to trim back the hedges. I collected half a carrier bag of apples for my cider making (I always keep an old carrier bag or two in the back of the car).
Great, I'd tried the bow, collected some apples and saved some time and petrol on the journey. I thought I'd visit one of my favourite apple trees on the way back, I parked up and walked along the tow path of the River Stort, a lovely sunny day, dragon flies darting about, people on their narrow boats giving me a cheery 'Good morning' I got to the tree and could hardly believe it, barely an apple to be seen, none on the ground either! Funny how some trees will do well while others will have a barren year. That tree was my ace in the hole, a guaranteed 3 carrier bags full tree!
Never mind it was still an enjoyable stroll, and I noticed the blackberries are coming along nicely.
Getting home I did some work reinforcing the wooden frame of my cider press with some "Dexion" so that I can exert more force when pressing the apples. I'll pick some more tomorrow from the place on the cycle track where I went yesterday. I'd seen a fox there then, it was so used to humans it just sauntered off nonchalantly a lovely deep reddish brown with a bright white tip to it's tail, nice to see wild life, but depressing to see the amount of litter people leave. Again, at that location, one of the early fruiting trees was virtually barren while some of the others were fine, a nice lot of Elder berries and Sloes in the hedgerow too.
I'm looking forward to doing a pressing of apples.

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